COSATU Message of Support – ANC Local Government Elections Manifesto Launch

President Cyril Ramaphosa,

The leadership of the ANC, COSATU, and the SACP,

The membership of COSATU,

Workers and their families across South Africa,

Introductory Remarks

The Congress of South African Trade Unions held its Central Committee last week.  The message from unions and our members is clear, the African National Congress remains the political home for the overwhelming majority of workers. 

The mandate that the membership of COSATU and workers have given to the Federation is to wage a relentless campaign in every ward, town, and city to ensure the ANC is returned to office on the 1st of November.

The challenges facing South Africa and its workers are many.

It is not a secret that the ANC, like the government, the State-Owned Enterprises, and municipalities has been painfully hurt during the decade of state capture.  Much remains to be done to cleanse the ANC, government, and South Africa of corruption.

COSATU welcomes the efforts undertaken by the President and the ANC to begin cleaning up the rot of state capture.  The suspension of senior political leaders in the ANC and government charged with corruption, the appointing of Commissions of Enquiry, the charging of officials by the Hawks, the recovery of stolen funds in Eskom are positive signs that we are turning the tide.

These must be accelerated.  We cannot afford to lose the war against corruption.

The efforts by the ANC to ensure competent and accountable leaders in municipalities must be replicated at all levels of government.

The ANC remains an ally of workers.

In the midst of media headlines, the many positive achievements of the ANC are forgotten. 

It is the ANC working with COSATU that passed the National Minimum Wage Act improving the wages of over 6 million workers, in a particular farm, retail, security, and construction. At the beginning of 2022, domestic workers will equalise the National Minimum Wage.

It is the ANC that passed our progressive labour laws protecting workers from victimisation and unfair dismissal, providing paid maternity and parental leave, requiring employers to provide a safe workplace, guaranteeing the right to unionise, and collective bargaining.

It is the ANC that tabled the National Health Insurance Bill to provide universal health care and the Expropriation Bill to speed up land reform.

It is the ANC-led government working with COSATU and social partners at Nedlac that ensured over R60 billion was released from the Unemployment Insurance Fund to over 5.5 million workers and over R50 billion paid in the Covid-19 SRD Grants to over 8 million unemployed recipients.

Much remains to be done to improve the lives of workers and their families.

The challenges facing workers and South Africans are immense.  They require all of us to contribute towards their solutions.

COSATU will work with the ANC to ensure the implementation of its manifesto, in particular its commitments to tackle corruption, grow the economy, and mobilise every South African to vaccinate.

We welcome the manifesto’s commitments to rebuild local government so it can deliver quality basic services, and end labour broking and outsourcing in municipalities.

COSATU supports the manifesto’s call to overhaul public procurement and establish a single and transparent public procurement system that will support local businesses.

We will work with the government to strengthen the ban on politically exposed persons from doing business with the state.

COSATU calls upon all workers and their families to support the ANC on the 1st of November.

The ANC has experienced many challenges, but it remains an ally of workers.

Workers stand the most to lose from an ANC ousted from the government.  No other political party stood with workers when it mattered most during the liberation struggle. 

Some opposition political parties have proudly promised to scrap all our labour laws and protections for workers.  Others have shown themselves to simply being vehicles to satisfy the needs of their leaders’ extravagant lifestyles.

Much remains to be done to achieve a better life for all.

The ANC has delivered on many commitments to improve the lives of workers and their families over the years.  Much remains to be done as we battle a recession, a global pandemic, and emerge from the decade of state capture.

The ANC is the party that can lead workers to a better life.  It is not an easy journey.  It is one that we must take together.

COSATU and its Affiliates will campaign in every workplace and community to mobilise workers to come out in their numbers to deliver an overwhelming victory for the ANC on the 1st of November.